Florida has an unwanted visitor known as red tide who likes to grace our shores every so often. Water sports lovers who are not familiar with this phenomenon often wonder if it safe to still be out on the water. Questions such as is it safe to go kayaking during red tide are back to being heard among veteran and new outdoor sports lovers alike. We at Economy Tackle/Dolphin Paddlesports strive to always be useful to our fans so we’ve put together a comprehensive guide on the safety of kayaking during red tide water conditions.
What is Florida Red Tide?
Specifically in Florida red tide is a harmful algal bloom featuring higher than normal concentrations of alga or plant like organisms. These creatures are usually an integral part of the oceanic ecosystem. Problems arise when they grow out of control and cause health issues to sea creatures and humans alike. Most people associate red tide conditions with a red discoloration of ocean waters but this is often only in extreme cases of red tide. Contrary to popular belief these adverse sea conditions are not caused by human intervention in Florida’s case. The Florida red tide organism, K. brevis, develops 10 to 40 miles offshore and only approaches shore if transported inshore.
Harmful Red Tide Effects
Leisure kayaking during red tide events is safe as long as you careful about your exposure, however fishing for the purpose of consumption is not recommended. Fish and other sea creatures suffer central nervous malfunctions and in extreme cases die in huge numbers due to red tide. When it comes to humans the damaging effects of the brevetoxins released during red tide events can lead to respiratory issues and burning eyes. Besides direct exposure humans that ingest filter feeders, such as oysters and clams that have been exposed to Florida red tide can get sick from Neurotoxic Shellfish Poisoning.
Staying Safe during Red Tide
Mote & Florida Wildlife Commission report that even swimming during red tide is safe for most people. However if you are particularly sensitive to irritation due to plant products or suffer from a chronic respiratory issue it is recommended that you stay away from the beach during these conditions. Beach sweepers are used to remove any dead fish to speed up the recovery of the waters from red tide. Red tide blooms are usually limited to a specific area so it is recommended that you visit a spate beach that may not be affected by this unusual circumstance.
Do you want to know more about kayaking during red tide conditions? Call Economy Tackle/Dolphin Paddlesports at (914) 922-9671 to get more information on stating safe out there or getting the right equipment or click here to get more information.